New York is still New York

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Waiting for the rain around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Sunday, 5:00 PM. Photo: JH.

Monday, July 10, 2023. Hot and humid and rain promised, threatened, forecast, as it has been for the past few days here in New York. It’s not that I don’t believe the forecasters but the most we’ve had so far is a few seconds of sprinkles. The idea remains attractive because maybe it’ll cool things down for a couple of minutes.

Pre-publish note. Re the rain: at 9 p.m., it had been raining for more than an hour (as JH has captured) and the temps have dropped down to the heavenly 70s.

The city is still “holiday quiet” as of this writing late Sunday afternoon. Although I noticed the “plethora of parking spaces” is no longer – which means people are back for Monday morning. It’s always helpful to remind myself that this is the quietest time of all seasons in New York. Often in the neighborhoods, the only sign of people is the dull hum of thousands of air conditioners that fills an otherwise quiet avenue.

Nevertheless, the “city that never sleeps” still manages to keep the calendar occupied with philanthropic and charitable fund-raisers that keep the citizens thinking …

“New York New York.” Our friend and contributor Sharon Hoge, who’s covered several European tours for us and has gained fame as ultimate ladies’ foot and handbag fashion photographer at the annual Central Park lunch, was in town long enough to attend the annual gala of the Citizens Committee of New York City and its annual New Yorkers for New York Honorees.

The Tony nominee star of the Broadway musical New York, New York, Colton Ryan sang the iconic title song to honor four “New Yorkers for New York.”

Mayor Eric Adams saluted the group.

Cited this year for outstanding involvement were celebrated bandleader Peter Duchin a long standing Citizens Committee Board member, along with community arts leader Tanya Birl-Torres, community organizer Bobby Digi Olisa, and TV’s Michelle Miller.

Established during the 1970’s fiscal crisis to help New Yorkers help themselves, Citizens Committee annually awards hundreds of mini-grants for neighborhood improvement projects — encouraging local residents in all five boroughs to prosper like the characters portrayed in the lively musical show.

In an appearance, Mayor Eric Adams commended Citizens Committee for its nearly 50 year record of enabling community groups to sponsor neighborhood gardens, arts, safety, nutrition, equality, and exercise programs.

Sunset riverside cocktails at Chelsea Piers were followed by dinner and dancing.

New Yorker for New York Honoree Peter Duchin with Citizens Committee for NYC CEO Rahsaan Harris.
New Yorker for New York Honorees Michelle Miller, Bobby Digi Olisa, and Tanya Birl-Torres.
Citizens Committee for NYC Board Chair Chris Ruggeri with New Yorker for New York Honoree Bobby Digi Olisa.
Citizens Committee for NYC Board members Janet Burak and Joel Press and Ji Lanzillo.
L. to r.: Ngozi Okaro, Custom Collaborative activist; Alisa Gregory and dancer Kat Files of Emerge125.
Citizens Committee for NYC Board members Joel Press and Sharon Hoge, with Stuart Cohen.
Rodney Hawkins and Victoria Fortune.

A walk in the park. Two weeks ago on a Wednesday, the Central Park Conservancy hosted the Greensward Circle’s annual summer benefit, Evening at the Water. 

For the first time, the reimagined event took place at one of New York’s most recognizable venues, Conservatory Water (located inside Central Park at Fifth Avenue between East 72nd and 76th Streets). The event raised $105,000 to support the Conservancy’s mission.

Evening at the Water Host Committee: (left to right) Brian Reinke, Courtney Kelly, Megan Zuckerman, Susie Hamman, Madeleine Chatz, Blythe Bonan, Madison Ladymon, Sarah Trousadle, Ruth Zapata, Rebecca Malizia, Alice Cash, Brittany Lappano, Amanda Munoz, Emily Hughes, Katie Turner, Alayna Putterman, Jeffrey McHugh, Elaine Dealy, Raquel Ringgold.

Guests followed the theme of Whimsical Wonderland, donning quirky cocktail attire for a night along the Water. Attendees enjoyed delectable food, refreshing libations, and lively entertainment around the Alice in Wonderland statue! 

Wine and spirits were generously provided by 90+ Cellars, Mija Sangria, Steel 43 Vodka, Tequila Zarpado, and Wheel Horse Whiskey; florals and decor from Dawn Melanie Designs and Pinch Food Design wowed guests with their imaginative and delicious food presentation.

Evening at the Water at Conservatory Water in Central Park.

Magician Patrick Swailes Caldwell, along with the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter, wove throughout the crowd creating a magical Evening. Then there was Laetitia Cartomancy on hand for tarot readings. 

The evening was co-chaired by Alice Cash and Rebecca Malizia. Serving on the host committee were Blythe Bonan, Madeleine Chatz, Elaine Dealy, Susan Hamman, Brittany Beyer Harwin, Emily Hughes, Courtney Kelly, Madison Ladymon, Brittany Miller Lappano, Jeffrey McHugh, Amanda Munoz, Alayna Putterman, Brian Reinke, Raquel Ringgold, Sarah Trousadle, Katie Turner, Ruth Zapata, and Megan Zuckerman.

Ruth Zapata with the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts.

More than 400 attended, including Nick Arrington, Savanna Stevens, Serena Miniter, and Rudy Saunders. 

 “The Greensward Circle is a group of young professionals who come together to give back to the Park in the same ways it gives to us. Central Park is truly the heart of the City, and we’re all part of the Greensward Circle to make sure we can preserve this beautiful and necessary space — a true escape from the fast-paced, hectic, and demanding lives of New Yorkers, we’re all lucky enough to have in our own backyard,” said Co-Chair Rebecca Malizia.

Alice Cash and Rebecca Malizia; Clint Craft and Alisha Chander

The Greensward Circle is the Central Park Conservancy’s membership network of young professionals, ages 21 to 39. Through annual dues, Circle members provide critical unrestricted operating support to keep Central Park beautiful all year long. They also participate in exclusive volunteer and service opportunities in Central Park. 

To learn more or become a member:

Emily Mass, Katherine Salvatori, Serena Miniter, Sara Bernstein, and Tal Moriah.
L. to r.: Krishna Thakkar, Callista Kinnan, Raquel Ringgold, and Vail Linn; Savanna Stevens.
Helen Scott Ching, Delia Folk, Katy Gally, Megan Zuckerman, and Nicole Veno.
Juliana Hakin, Michael Altman, Lenore Feder, Amanda Munoz, Elliott Wiley, and Adam Cooper.
L. to r.: Cassandra Collins and Dontai Nottingham; Karl Fisher and Katie Norchi.
Blythe Bonan and Bliss Bonan.
Anna Page, Savvy Wolfe, and Melissa Kramer.
L. to r.: Tobili Hatcher and Nick Arrington; Brian Reinke, Julia Heath, Ida Chen, and Akash Kadakia.
Jeffrey McHugh, Susie Hamman, Patrick Rose, and Maggie Borders.
Matthew Zaccagni, Nathan Altendorf, Blythe Bonan, and Nicholas D’Angelo.

Hey Liguori, What’s the Story. All golf fans know renowned sports talk show host Ann Liguori. You might not know that she just picked up a ‘Gracie Award’ to add to her trophy case. Presented by the Alliance for Women in Media, the Gracie Awards celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women, and about women.

Gracie Awards Recipient Ann Liguori

And this was not her first award: she’d been honored with the ‘Winnie Palmer Award’ at the MET Golf Writers National Award’s Dinner in June of last year.

Previous awardees included golf world legends Barbara Nicklaus, Nancy Lopez, Tom Watson, Ernie Els and Gary Player, to name a few.

The winning entry from her 2022 season featured Ann talking about the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.  Her guest in that show was Christine Brennan of USA Today. Both women shared strong opinions about the controversial topic.

Ann’s ‘Talking Golf’ show features her talking about the top news and issues in golf, as well as in-depth interviews with top names, movers and shakers in the sport. Her book, A Passion for Golf, Celebrity Musings about the Game is a collection of these interviews. Her second book, Life Lessons in Golf, will be published in the spring of 2024.

Jean Skidgel, Colleen Neary, Ann Liguori, and Cee Cee Young.

Ann was the first female to host a call-in sports talk show aired weekly for 25 years: Hey Liguori, What’s the Story on WFAN-NY, the first all-sports radio station. In addition, she was the first woman to host a weekly, prime-time show on the Golf Chanel. ‘Conversations with Ann Liguori’ featured Ann playing golf and walking with A-List celebrities while getting them to share sides of them, seldom heard.

For more info on the Ann Liguori Foundation, click here.

Photographs by Darian DiCianno/ (Central Park Conservancy); Neil Tandy (Liguori); Sharon Hoge, Vonecia Carswell, & Shante Dickson (Citizens).

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